Srinagar: Amid a complete shutdown in Srinagar to mark the day of “martyrdom (shahadat)” of Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq and Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone, the government on Monday imposed strict restrictions in several parts of downtown Srinagar to foil the Joint Resistance Leadership’s Eidgah march to commemorate the day.
Since early morning, police and paramilitary forces were deployed in strength in the old city. Barricades using concertina wires were laid on roads and all routes leading to Eidgah, which houses the martyrs’ graveyard of Srinagar, were sealed.
The authorities also detained Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at their respective residences, while JKLF chief Yasin Malik was kept detained at Kothi Bagh police station.
Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq was killed on May 21, 1990, while Abdul Gani Lone was killed on May 21, 2002, both of them by unidentified gunmen that remain unidentified to this day.
Scores of Awami Action Committee (AAC) leaders and activists tried to take out a protest march from the Aali Masjid towards the martyrs’ graveyard in Eidgah in the afternoon, but they were stopped by the police.
The district administration formally imposed restrictions in areas under the jurisdiction of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal police stations, while partial restrictions were imposed in areas under Maisuma and Kralkhud police stations.
All markets and private offices in Srinagar remained shut and public transport was off the roads as part of the shutdown to commemorate the day.
On the day Mirwaiz Muhammad Farooq was killed, a huge procession carrying his coffin was fired upon by Border Security Force (BSF) troops at Hawal in Srinagar. The firing killed 61 civilians. Dozens others suffered injuries.
The JRL in a statement condemned the “stringent” curbs imposed by the government, calling them “totalitarian measures”.
“No matter how far Delhi and its local collaborators go in unleashing repression upon people, the people have shown that they will continue to follow the cause for which the martyrs sacrificed their life and will at all cost resist New Delhi’s military might with full strength,” the statement read.